National Chronicle

14 lakh fliers use B’luru airport amid Covid scare

14 lakh fliers use B'luru airport amid Covid scare

Bengaluru: About 14 lakh passengers transited through the Kempegowda international airport on the city’s outskirts during the past 100 days since the resumption of domestic air travel amid the Covid pandemic, said an official on Wednesday.

“In the 100 days since domestic air travel resumed on May 25, about 14 lakh fliers used the airport, which handled 15,658 air traffic movements till date,” said operator Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) here.

As the third busiest in the country after Mumbai and New Delhi in the pre-Covid times, the airport is operating services in 49 of the 58 cities.

“Kolkata emerged as the top destination with 13 per cent of the air traffic, followed by Delhi 11 per cent and Patna six per cent,” noted the official.

Passenger services in the domestic and overseas routes were suspended since lockdown was imposed on March 25 and extended to contain the pandemic.

State-run Air India also operated evacuation flights since mid-May to bring back hundreds of Indians stranded the world over due to suspension of services on international routes.

“During the lockdown, parking-to-boarding contactless processing ensured safe and secure journey to all passengers through the airport,” said the operator.

The air traffic movements for landing and take-off grew 39 per cent and the passenger traffic shot up 47 per cent from July to August during Unlock 2 and Unlock 3.

With further relaxation of state regulations and addition of capacity by airlines, the numbers are expected to increase in the coming months.

“Passenger movement was highest towards eastern/north-eastern regions at 33.7 per cent, followed by southern region at 30.9 per cent, northern region 25.8 per cent and western region 9.6 per cent,” the operator pointed out.

The safety measures for food and beverage and retail at the airport include pre-ordering of food to minimise waiting time, seamless takeaway or on-location delivery, contactless payments and hygiene standards for all staff.

In calendar year 2019, a record 33.65 million passengers transited from the airport at Devanahalli, about 40km north of this tech city, registering around 4 per cent annual growth from 32.33 million in 2018.

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